Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
Iowa BEST conference hall
2022 Iowa BEST Summit
Join us in Des Moines, Iowa
Iowa Events Center
730 3rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Register Today!

Building statewide capacity to support mental wellness for our students and educators

Join more than 1,000 other education professionals, school mental health champions, and researchers from across the state for the 2022 Iowa BEST (Behavioral, Equitable, Social-Emotional, Trauma-Informed Health in Schools) Summit.

The Summit is your destination for practical solutions around school-based social-emotional-behavioral health. Come together to bolster mental health supports across our educational system, apply the latest research to address mental health holistically, develop innovative strategies to embed student and educator wellness into the learning environment, and strengthen system capacity for care.

This event is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education and the Scanlan Center for School Mental Health.

Who Should Attend?
  • PreK-12 teachers, school counselors, administrators, paraeducators, and school mental health providers

  • School district staff and leadership

  • Building leadership teams

  • Community partners including mental health providers, primary care physicians, Children’s Behavioral Health System Board members, and state medical association members

  • Policymakers

  • AEA personnel supporting social-emotional-behavioral health and accelerating learning

  • AEA personnel supporting specific subgroups (e.g., special education, preschool, English learners)

  • University faculty who support preservice educators

Why Should You Attend?
  • Take in the latest research, resources, and best practices to help activate and build mental wellness supports and capacity for your school, district, or region

  • Engage in deeper learning and knowledge sharing that leads to innovative solutions

  • Be a champion for school mental health systems change in your own school or community

  • Meet other colleagues and change-makers in the space

  • Learn and obtain CEUs (Participants can receive one Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit for attending the Summit and completing all readings and discussions)


Can’t make it to this year’s summit? We have you covered!

Listen to our two keynote speakers live at 9 a.m. on both Oct. 10 and 11!

Click here for the full session schedule.

October 10, 2022

7:30 – 9 a.m.             Check-In

9 – 10:15 a.m.           KEYNOTE: Nurturing Resilience in Ourselves and in Our Students – Dr. Robert Brooks (Tune in to the livestream!) 

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.    Break

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.    Concurrent Session #1

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.     Lunch

1 – 2:15 p.m.               Concurrent Session #2

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.         Break

2:30 – 3:45 p.m.        Concurrent Session #3


October 11, 2022

7:30 – 9 a.m.             Check-In

9 – 9:15 a.m.              Iowa School Mental Health Awards Presentation (Tune in to the livestream!)

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.       KEYNOTE: Being the Best YOU: Building and Sustaining an Equitable Mindset – Dr. Erika McDowell (Tune in to the livestream!)

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.     Break

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.     Concurrent Session #4

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.      Lunch

1 – 2:15 p.m.               Concurrent Session #5

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.         Break

2:30 – 3:45 p.m.         Concurrent Session #6

Coming soon.

#1 Educator Wellbeing 

Teacher wellbeing addresses individual and system wellness to support the overall health of teachers, their learners, and the school community.

Outcomes: Educators will learn about the dimensions of wellness, how to strengthen these dimensions and how to transcend this knowledge and specific wellness practices that align with SEBH competencies into their classrooms with their students.

#2 Educational Leadership 

This strand is focused on providing education leaders with opportunities to engage and collaborate to strengthen skills to support student and educator social and emotional wellness.

Outcomes: Leaders in Iowa schools need to establish a healthy climate and culture to support students and staff.  The Summit will provide opportunities to enhance leaders skills to address social, emotional and behavioral issues in your school.  Through increasing your knowledge and resources, along with strengthening  the development of leadership teams to meet the current challenges.

#3 Schoolwide/Universal Practices 

The purpose of this strand is to provide professionals with information on research-based Tier 1/Universal systems and practices to develop and sustain innovative strategies that create the foundations needed to meet the diverse SEBH needs of students and staff.

Outcomes: Participants leave with actionable strategies for increasing overall mental well-being at the schoolwide & universal levels. Participants will reflect and reframe universal systems and practices in ways to reduce stigma and meet the greater needs of students experiencing periods of mental illness.

#4 Interventions (Tier 2 and Tier 3) 

The purpose of this strand is to provide professionals with information on research-based Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions, assessment, and comprehensive service provision for addressing SEBH needs in schools.

Outcomes: Attendees will gain content knowledge on the comprehensive Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention process. Moving beyond typical classroom strategies, attendees will learn how professionals are designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to provide comprehensive, collaborative SEBH services. 

Bob Brooks
Dr. Robert Brooks , Keynote Speaker
Dr. Robert Brooks is a clinical psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School (part-time) and former Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital, a private psychiatric hospital in the Boston area. His first position at McLean was as principal of the school in the inpatient unit of the child and adolescent program—a position that heightened his interest in several areas, including: dealing effectively with feelings of burnout, becoming more resilient, and reinforcing motivation, hope, and resilience in students. Dr. Brooks has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about such themes as: resilience across the lifespan; intrinsic motivation; parenting and family relations; and creating positive school and work environments. He is the author or co-author of 19 books including: Raising Resilient Children; The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life; and Creating Sustainable, Resilient Classrooms. Dr. Brooks has received many awards for his work, most recently the Mental Health Humanitarian Award from William James College in Massachusetts for his contributions as a clinician, educator, and author. In addition, he has served as a consultant to Sesame Street Parents Magazine. Additional information about Dr. Brooks may be found on his website:
Dr. Erika McDowell
Dr. Erika L. McDowell is a former NJ governor’s award recipient and honors graduate of Howard University, New York University, and earned her EdD from Drexel University in Educational Leadership and Management, in May 2020. Erika currently is an Equity Steward for Wildflower Schools and a clinical associate professor of educational leadership and policy at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. Dr. McDowell has received the Association for Positive Behavior Support’s 2020 E.G. “Ted” Carr Early Career Practitioner Award and has been elected to the APBS Board of Directors for the 2021-2024 term, serving in the inaugural Racial and Ethnic Diversity Seat. Most recently, Erika was honored as one of Drexel’s 40 under 40 in 2022. She has also served as an Executive Director of Professional Development and Director of PBIS/Youth Court for The School District of Philadelphia. Other positions previously held include assistant principal and teacher. Her in-depth experience includes restorative practices, equity, positive behavioral support, conflict resolution, classroom management, coaching, leadership development, and behavioral data support. Dr. McDowell is committed to nurturing the minds and gifts of leaders, teachers, practitioners, and youth nationwide.

The 2022 Iowa School Mental Health Awards will honor individuals who have made significant contributions to cultivating a positive mental health culture within an Iowa PreK-12 school, district, college/university, or community organization. Three awards will be presented at the 2022 Iowa BEST Summit:

Iowa School Mental Health Hero

This award honors a practitioner, researcher, educator, or community partner for their defining contribution to school mental health in Iowa. This individual has demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to expanding, promoting, and strengthening mental health and wellness supports within their school, district, institution, or organization resulting in positive outcomes.

School Wellness Warrior Award

To have thriving students, we must first have thriving educators. The School Wellness Warrior Award recognizes an individual for their outstanding efforts around school employee wellness. The recipient of this award has been instrumental in furthering a school, district, or institution’s employee wellness initiatives; helping teachers, faculty, or staff reach a heightened level of well-being (e.g., physical, mental, spiritual, behavioral). A Wellness Warrior’s spirit is contagious, spreading adoption of and engagement in a healthier work and learning environment.

Mental Health Influencer of the Year Student Award

This award tributes a visionary youth leader who lends their voice and talents to advancing mental health awareness and initiatives. This student’s efforts have influenced decision-makers or policymakers to expand mental health supports within their school, district, region, or state. To qualify for this award, nominees must be enrolled in one of Iowa’s PreK-12 schools during the 2021-22 school year.

Participants can receive one Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit (ILRU) for attending the Summit and completing all readings and discussions via the online course platform through the Baker Teacher Leader Center. To receive ILRU credit:

1) Register for the 2022 Iowa BEST Summit.

2) Complete this additional registration and click “Enroll”.

Course Requirements: Attend both days of the Summit and engage with the learning materials (complete readings and discussions) via the online course platform through the Scanlan Center for School Mental Health and the Baker Teacher Leader Center. You will need to attend a presentation or workshop for each session of the Summit. Along with each session, you will be asked to share what you learned and how you will apply this learning to your practice. There will also be 2-3 brief surveys related to the quality of the education you receive.

Course Materials: All course material will be provided via the online course platform you will access after you register for the conference and the course. You will receive an email (sent to the address you used to register for the credit) inviting you to the online course platform.

If you have questions about registration, please contact Mariana Colombo at

Hilton Des Moines Downtown

(0.2 miles from Iowa Events Center; attached to the Events Center by skywalk)

  • 435 Park St, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-241-1456

Fairfield Inn and Suites

(0.3 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 207 Crocker St, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-350-7997

Renaissance Des Moines Savery

(0.4 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 401 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-244-2151

Holiday Inn Des Moines DTWN – Mercy Area

(0.4 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 1050 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314
  • 515-283-0151

Comfort Inn & Suites Event Center

(0.5 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 929 3rd St, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-282-5251

Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown

(0.5 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 101 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-244-1700

Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown

(0.6 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 201 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-280-3828

Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown

(0.6 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 418 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-282-5555

AC Hotel Des Moines East Village

(0.7 miles from Iowa Events Center)

  • 401 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
  • 515-518-6060


(Coming soon)

Coming soon.
Glimpse from Last Year